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Getting Divorced in India

* Image via Wikipedia

is this a self help group, or a legal practice...

Image via Wikipedia

So a couple of weeks back we had our first hearing at the court.

If you want to get divorced in India – make sure its mutual. If its not – then my lawyer says,

“The only party who benefits is the lawyers.”

Sooner or later – and egos ensure it is later – you will realise it is not worth the trouble and wish it was mutual.

It was around 7 months ago that we realised that our decade long marriage couldn’t be salvaged. It had been on the rocks for four years and while there was no cheating or extra-marital affair – there were the little things that were actually the big things. The value differences. The expectations. Whoever says that love conquers all hasn’t really tried marriage to a person with a very different value system.

Back to the subject of the post. A friend referred me to a lawyer and we both met him. He was pretty cool. Said that he’d have to say  that we had been living apart for a year at least – and then we’d have two hearings in front of the judge – 6 months apart. And that was something he couldn’t influence. The Supreme Court has that as an order. Yes, the law can be an ass.

So we went to the judge one Saturday morning. Surrounded by other couples – not all of them going through a “mutual separation” – heard accusations of domestic cruelty and of one spouse turning up and no word from the other.

When our turn came – the judge only spoke to our lawyer (for the purpose of the hearing we needed to have separate lawyers – and our lawyer had got an additional lawyer before the hearing – and got him to prepare what is called a “vakalatnama”) and then much anti-climatically he looked at the papers then enquired about the address proof and then passed it to the clerk to give us the next date after six months.

That’s it.

I discovered that unlike Hindi movies lawyers don’t call Judges “Mi Lord” – in NCR they call them “Janaab” 🙂

So that was it. I was semi-divorced (or semi-married) as I signed the court papers – and will be until the next hearing.

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